The primary Stages Off-Broadway Oral history Project

Celebrating the visionaries who created New York's vibrant Off- and Off-Off-Broadway theater.

Ping Chong

Ping Chong

Theatre Artist, Choreographer, Video Installation Artist
Born on Wednesday, October 2, 1946

Interviewed on: Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Location: Primary Stages Offices
Interviewed by: Jeannie Hutchins
Interview #18
"I feel theatre today has to be more active, and that’s why movement is very much a part of my theatre."
Ping Chong Highlights
Video Length: 5 Minutes, 47 Seconds
Ping Chong Interview
Video Length: 2 Hours, 1 Minute

Ping Chong is an internationally-acclaimed artist and pioneer in the use of media in the theatre. His theatrical works bring his unique artistic vision to bear on major historical issues of our times and focus on bringing unheard voices and underrepresented stories to the stage. Encompassing puppetry, dance, documentary theatre, sound, media, and other experimental theatre forms, his works have explored a wide variety of subjects, from a hidden genocide in Africa to modernization in China to the experiences of Muslim youth in post-9/11 America. Throughout, the common thread has been a unifying commitment to artistic innovation and social responsibility.

Since 1972, as founder and Artistic Director of Ping Chong + Company, he has created over 100 productions, which have been presented at major theaters, festivals, and museums worldwide. Major interdisciplinary works include: Collidescope: Adventures in Pre- and Post-Racial America (2013 University of Maryland, 2015 UMass Amherst), THRONE OF BLOOD (2010 BAM, Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Cathay: Three Tales of China (2005 John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts), Kwaidan (1998 Center for Puppetry Arts, Jim Henson Festival), Deshima (1990 Mickery Workshop), NOSFERATU (1985/1991 La MaMa), and ANGELS OF SWEDENBORG (1984/2011), among many others. In 1992, he created the first Undesirable Elements production, an ongoing series of community-based oral history projects, working with real people to explore issues of culture and identity. Representative works in the UE Series include: Voices of the Disability Community (2008, Kennedy Center), CRY FOR PEACE: Voices from the Congo (2010 Syracuse Stage), and GAIJIN (1995 Yomiuri Prize, Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre). Ping Chong is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a USA Artist Fellowship, two Bessie Awards, two OBIE Awards, a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, and a 2014 National Medal of Arts.

Mentioned in Interview

Meredith Monk, Pablo Vela, Muna Tseng, Michael Rohd, Ritsaert Ten Cate, Ellen Stewart, Sara Zatz, Talvin Wilks, Trinket Monsod, Dave Schwab, Leyla Modirzadeh, Josef Fung, Lois Smith, Jon Ludwig, Mitsuru Ishii, Vincent LiCata, Michael Matthews, Guy Klucevsek, Ping Chong + Company, Phantom Limb, Mickery Workshop, Fiji Theatre Company, La MaMa E.T.C., Daniel Nagrin Studio Theatre, The Kitchen, Marvin Center Theatre, Wadsworth Theatre, Croatian National Theatre, Stiemke Theatre, Apple Corp Theatre, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Shaanxi Folk Art Theater, Freud Playhouse